LeBron James was faced with similar challenges last season against the Dallas Mavericks, a team the Miami Heat led two games to one in the NBA Finals a season ago. They would not win another game. But this Miami Heat team, and, more importantly, this LeBron James, seemed remarkably different from the previous one. He seemed to take on a “I Will Not Lose” attitude and didn’t shy away from the big moment or the big shot, something he has done in the past. With that shot, the Miami Heat went on to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 104-98 even as James watched the rest of the game on the bench. Oklahoma City provided little resistance in game five, as the Miami Heat won 121-106 for the second Miami Heat NBA Championship and the first for LeBron James.
Now, James doesn’t have to be mentioned in the same breath with Allen Iverson, Karl Malone, Steve Nash, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley and other, as great NBA players to never win an NBA Championship. Now, LeBron has the chance to take his place amongst an even greater group, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, as he won the regular season NBA MVP and the NBA Finals MVP. LeBron is only 27, and, as scary as it may seem, still has a chance to become an even better player, on the court and in the history books. LeBron has only touched the service on his post game, and should improve in the future. He also has yet to develop a consistent jump shot, something that is still possible, even at the age of 27. The thought of the best player in the NBA improving has to be scary for other teams in the NBA, but it is not only possible, but probable as well. The confidence of winning his first NBA Championship should only help LeBron James, and he should be more of an assassin at the end of games. The source of that new-found confidence? A three pointer that put the Miami Heat int he lead for good, and, perhaps, LeBron James ahead of all other NBA players for good as well.